FISHING BETWEEN THE MASSES
I left Jennie's house that day with a full heart and hugs on board. I will never forget her or the many blessings her willingness to reach across the country granted to so many, myself included. I headed for Melbourne, one more night in a hotel and one last morning Mass the next day with Sisters Immaculata and Joseph at Ascension.
I am overwhelmed by the generosity, humility, faith and joy of Sisters Joseph and Immaculata. They came here to Melbourne from Ireland in 1961, with no money and orders to start a school. These two amazing foundresses were beyond successful in their mission. They still have offices on campus at Ascension Catholic School. Sr. Immaculata, the more vocal of the two, taught Kindergarten there for 54 years until, as she puts it, she was, "recycled." She now handles all matters regarding pastoral care; by serving the sick, the dying, the home bound and the incarcerated. Sr. Joseph is Development Director for the school and was busy preparing for their Casino Night fund raiser while I was there. http://www.americancatholic.org/news/report.aspx?id=2477
So, this story of miracles ends as it began at the airport in Melbourne, Florida.
If you read my earlier posts, you may remember, The Luggage Lady. Well, wouldn't you know it, Sister Immaculata followed me to the airport to see me off and The Luggage Lady (Michelle) was there at the ticket counter. God certainly was not going to let Michelle miss the opportunity to meet the nun who ran past her at the airport on the day of my arrival.
If we try, it's really not that hard to find God. I think sometimes we don't want to hear what He has to say or to see what He has to offer. I believe with my whole heart that if we look at everything as opportunity we will find joy in seeking His presence, in each other and the gifts we have been given to share. He is everywhere, in everything, just waiting to be seen and loved by us. I know this much for sure, the more I seek Him... the more I find Him. I pray, as long as there is breath in me, may I never stop making the most of every moment. The Joy of the Lord is my strength.
11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. (NASB)
By the way, this series of seven blog posts aren't even the half of it. Miracles upon miracles, blessings upon blessings unfolded on this trip. Here is a list:
FLORIDA MIRACLES UNFOLD - PART SIX
SEA BEANS AND A STORM
With an afternoon to spare, I hurried to the nearest Wal-Mart for supplies. A bamboo mat, sunscreen and a beach towel were the only things on my list. With very little planning, other than my beach time shopping spree, I was off to enjoy the Florida Atlantic Coast.
Of course, traveling on faith, I failed to check the weather report. As I waited for construction traffic on the bridge over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, it became obvious that the lightning, thunder and rain would arrive at the beach before I did.
By the time I reached the State Park at the coast, the storm was fully involved. Incessant, rumbling thunder shook my little rental car as well as my heart. Lightning flashes were all around. They were impossible to predict, because everything was happening so fast. I tried to capture a picture of a lightning flash but worried my phone would act as a rod and I might be killed. The fact that I was the only person in the parking lot made me question my "good judgment” in being there, so I played it safe and stopped trying. I didn’t want my stupidity to make me a candidate for the evening news;
"Amateur storm chaser dies while posing for a selfie in a storm. She was found naked and afraid clutching her iPhone, a bamboo beach mat, sunscreen and a towel."
I like to pray the Rosary when I’m out of ideas or when my ideas are too many to bear. When I feel like God wants more time with me, I meditate on the Mysteries and let God work. For me, the Rosary is a good way to get lost in the presence of God.
Completely satisfied, I headed out of the park after sunset and stopped at the Ranger Station. Holding one of the little balls in the palm of my left hand I asked, “Do you know what this is?”
“Oh wow!” the ranger said. “You found a Sea Bean. You must be very lucky. Those are hard to find. They come, sometimes, from as far as Africa. They travel for months on the ocean. I’ve never seen a gray one.” Hang on tight to that treasure! You are very lucky."
Reaching into a file cabinet next to her desk the ranger then pulled out a copy of a Sea Bean information sheet. I thanked her and drove away happy. She was so excited about the one… I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had found four.
It was a good day at the beach. It wasn't what I thought it would be. It was better. I witnessed the majesty of God in a mighty storm, I served as a buffet for hungry no-see-ums and left the Inlet with a lucky handful of Sea Beans. The sunscreen and bamboo mat were gifted to my Florida friends. I took the beach towel home as a souvenir for my daughter. I swear… If I had known the gifts I was to receive that day, I might have planned myself out of greatness. I want God’s itinerary for my life. Without fail, what I experience while traveling on faith becomes something far greater than I could ever dream. God is so good!
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us (NASB)
23 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (NASB)
HUMBLED AND INSPIRED